What are some advice provided in Buddhism/the Dhamma-Vinaya regarding how one can protect oneself against dangers and harm?
Some ideas that come to mind are:
- studying and practicing the Dhamma-Vinaya as a whole, especially the parts that are most suitable and relevant to a particular individual
- developing the entire Noble Eightfold Path, not just some parts of it or incompletely
- developing friendliness/kindness (metta) in accordance with discourse AN 11.16:
- developing the non-doing of harmful bodily, verbal, and mental actions and the doing of beneficial bodily, verbal, and mental actions in accordance with discourse SN 3:5.
Discourse on the eleven benefits of developing friendliness/kindness (mettanisamsa sutta):
- He sleeps comfortably.
- He awakes comfortably.
- He doesn’t have nightmares/bad dreams.
- He is dear to human beings.
- He is dear to non-human beings.
6. Devas (gods) protect him.
7. Fire, poison, and weapons cannot touch him.
- His mind can concentrate quickly.
- His demeanor is peaceful.
- He dies unconfused/without confusion.
- If he fails to attain arahantship (the ultimate protection) here and now, he will be reborn in the brahma-world.
Discourse on what it means to be self-protected (atta-rakkhita sutta):
Near Sāvatthī. As he was sitting to one side, King Pasenadi Kosala said to the Blessed One: “Just now, lord, while I was alone in seclusion, this train of thought arose in my awareness: ‘Who have themselves protected, and who leave themselves unprotected?’ Then it occurred to me: …
“That’s the way it is, great king! That’s the way it is!
‘Those who engage in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, and mental misconduct leave themselves unprotected.
Even though an army of elephant troops might protect them, an army of cavalry troops, an army of chariot troops, an army of infantry troops might protect them, still they leave themselves unprotected.
Why is that?
Because that’s an external protection, not an internal one.
Therefore they leave themselves unprotected.
But those who engage in good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, and good mental conduct make themselves protected.
Even though neither an army of elephant troops, an army of cavalry troops, an army of chariot troops, nor an army of infantry troops might protect them, still they make themselves protected.
Why is that?
Because that’s an internal protection, not an external one. Therefore they have themselves protected.’”
The Buddha seems to state:
-harmfulness will lead to harm (in this case, vulnerability or non-protection).
-beneficialness will lead to benefit (in this case, invulnerability or protection).
regardless of whether an army protects you or not.